Why are we doing this more and more?

So, the inimitable CCC over at Captain Chair Confessions got me thinking with his recent post These people got lights and siren responses  

Why is it, roughly 40 years into this grand experiment called EMS, that we seem to be responding more and more frequently to all manner of nonsense in a code 3 response?

This seems to fly in the face of reason, logic, and science.  I am just wondering why it is that we have many studies that seem to at the minimum, imply that increased use of emergency response proves to rarely provide a benefit and yet it goes on.

We are supposed to use science and reason and all manner of things, but we seem to flaunt it just as often.  I find it pretty damning that many times over the years we’ve even seen Jeff Clawson, of MPDS fame/infamy depending on your mindset, decry the overuse of code 3 responses.  If we have all this evidence pointing to less use of code 3 response, why do we feel the need to adhere to such silly things as 8 minute response time “standards”?  Especially when that “standard” isn’t the same from municipality to the next?

Maybe if we’re going to have all this science and evidence we could use it.  Just maybe.

Clawson, Jeff. “Unnecessary Lights and Siren Use: A Public Health Hazard.” International Academies of Emergenct Dispatch. N.p., Oct. 2002. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <https://www.emergencydispatch.org/articles/uneslightnsiren.pdf&gt;.


The problem with private EMS

So, I happened across a quote from Dr. Steven Nessen while watching the film Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare.  “When medicine became a business then we lost our moral compass.”(1)

It had a large amount that wasn’t really all that completely believable, including some leanings toward witchcraft voodoo alternative medicine.  That aside, in regards to the current system of reimbursement, I think he hit the nail on the head.  And I think that private for profit EMS is one of the best examples of being guilty of it.  That is one of those things that I wish we could find a way to change.  But so long as private EMS exists, and is reimbursed only for transporting, they puppy mills medic schools will keep churning them out by the dozen and we’ll keep just following the dictate of “You call, we haul” rather than actually providing good medicine.

Maybe someday we’ll be allowed to adequately care for our patients by having the right education, experience, leadership, resources and payments.  Just maybe….



(1) Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare. Dir. Susan Froemke and Matthew Heineman. Perf. Dr. Steven Nessen. 2012. Online. Amazon.com. Web.